本文版權為正直資源中心（Integrity Resource Center, Inc.）所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克．博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章，請上網www.integrityresource.org
思想 / 討論題目
「不論我們承認與否，所有善的來源，都來自上帝。」你是否同意這主張？為什麼？ 你可否想到有一次某人對你做了一件善事，但後來你發現那是出自他自私、不可告人的動機？請說明那讓你有何感覺？ 文中說，即使我們的善意也被聖經所稱的「罪」所玷污，就像把一滴毒藥放入你最喜歡的飲料中，這會破壞了整杯飲料。你對此話有何看法。 知道上帝是善的來源能如何對你的工作有正面的影響？
BEING GOOD WITHOUT GOD
By: Rick Boxx
Recently I read a column in the “Faith” section of our local newspaper in which an atheist described her journey in seeking to teach her children how to be "good" without making any reference to the Bible.
Explaining the principles undergirding her teaching, she cited two mottos. "Treat people the way you would like to be treated. And do the right thing, even when no one can see you doing it." She forgot to mention – or perhaps might not have been aware – that both of these principles can be traced to the Word of God. The first is a statement by Jesus in Matthew 7:12. The second, also part of Jesus” so-called Sermon on the Mount, is presented in Matthew 6:1-4.
The author kept referring to "being good" as a standard, as if it”s something that is natural and automatic, if only we are willing to try. Jesus, however, pointed out the dilemma with this assumption in Matthew 19:16-17 when a rich young ruler asked him, "”Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.“"
Jesus was teaching this leader – very likely a prominent businessman or entrepreneur in his city – that good ultimately flows out of relationship with God, not simply from noble aspirations. The problem is that even when we try to do good things, we can never be certain of our own motives. As the Bible declares, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:9).
For example, can you always be 100 percent certain, whenever you perform an act of kindness for a customer or a coworker, that you are not doing it to earn their favor or perhaps to obligate them for a time in the future when they can reciprocate with a comparable act of kindness toward you? What you do might truly be a good thing, but your reason might be because it also is good for you.
That is why the apostle Paul wrote, “there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12). He was not saying it is impossible for any of us to accomplish things that are good; only that even our best efforts are tainted by sin, which the Bible defines as rebellion against God and insistence on serving ourselves and pursuing our own best interests instead.
There are those who would insist that mankind is inherently good; that evil is an aberration in human behavior. But if we are honest, we will acknowledge that often, despite the best of intentions, we still manage to do things we know are unacceptable – or do good things for the wrong reasons.
Does this mean that doing good, whether at work, in your home or in your community, is pointless? Not at all. We simply need to understand the source of good. As Jesus stated in John 15:5, “apart from me you can do nothing.” He was asserting that genuine good, untainted by selfish motives, can be achieved only through the power of God at work in our lives – and working through our lives.
Being and doing good is an excellent, desirable standard for each of us in our respective places of work, as long as we remember the basis for this good is anchored in God’s commands. Even if others fail to acknowledge Him or give Him credit for it.
Copyright 2010, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org.
Do you agree with the contention that the source of all good, whether we readily acknowledge it or not, is God? Why or why not? Can you think of a time when someone did something good for you, but to realize at a later time that it had been done with selfish, ulterior motives? Explain how that made you feel. What about the statement that even our best intentions are tainted by what the Bible calls “sin,” much like putting a drop of poison in your favorite beverage would result in tainting the entire drink? Explain your answer. How could recognition that God is the ultimate source of good have a positive effect on how you conduct your job responsibilities? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:
Isaiah 64:4-7; Matthew 6:16-18; Romans 7:14-25; Philippians 4:13; Titus 3:5